Posted by: thebylog | April 23, 2004

Gas is pretty high in Oregon these days. Probably averages $2.00/gallon.

I want to know how high gas would have to get to make it fiscally intelligent for me to move out of my parents house to a place close (or on) campus.

Cost of living at home (even though I don’t pay rent, there are some associated costs):


$30.00/month (since I can’t claim myself as a dependant)


55 minutes/day (extra time to drive to and from school). I do this roughly five days a week. That’s 55 * 5 = 275 minutes/week = 4.58 hours/week = 19.694 hours/month (assuming 4.3 weeks to a month).

I’m paying about $2000 for tuition and fees this term, and that’s for 16 credits. If the term lasts 11 weeks, that’s 2000/11 = $181.82/week. If you assume an hour a week per credit, 181.82/16 = $11.36/hour. I’ll take that as what my time is worth.

Cost of time = ($11.36/hour) * (19.694 hours/month) = $223.72/month


When living at home, I consume probably 20 gallons of gas/week, which translates to maybe 420 miles (assuming 21 mpg–to be more accurate, I’d need to get my log book out and calculate the average). If I was living in Corvallis, it would be hard to say how much I’d drive. Let’s guess 160 miles/week, because I’d likely go home and too church several times every week. That is a savings of 260 miles/week, or 12.38 gallons.

The price of gas/gallon is my independant variable (x).

Total price of living at home for a month = 30 + 223.72 + 12.38x = 253.72 + 12.38x

Cost of living in Corvallis

I estimated this with some wise financial friends (Kev and Jean) once, and I think we agreed I could live in an apartment for around $900/month. I don’t know if that’s reasonable or not, but we’ll assume it is.

Total cost of living in Corvallis for a month = 900

The model

The idea is to see at what price of gasoline the cost of living at home would be equal to the cost of living in Corvallis. So we’ll set the totals equal to each other and solve for x.

253.72 + 12.38x = 900

12.38x = 646.28

x = $52.20

I’m not moving out anytime soon, at least while I’m schooling at OSU.


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